2018 Chevy Spark Review
2018 Chevy Spark Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Vehicle Test EngineerCalvin Kim is an automotive journalist at Edmunds.
- Impressive number of features at an affordable price
- Offers many optional high-tech features
- High fuel economy
- Easy to park in tight spaces
- Acceleration is slow, both for the class and in general
- Not much rear legroom and cargo capacity
The 2018 Chevrolet Spark is unchanged.
Subcompacts appeal to the practical and budget-conscience. They're inexpensive, frugal and, most important for city dwellers, easy to park. The 2018 Chevrolet Spark has all those traits but also adds a healthy list of standard and optional features to the mix.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2018 Chevrolet Spark LS 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl 5M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$116/mo for Spark LS
Avg. Compact Car
Even in its most basic LS trim, the Spark comes with modern conveniences that rival those on bigger and more expensive cars. A fold-down rear bench seat increases functionality, as does its standard smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It's also nimble around turns yet comfortable enough for longer trips.
But to be frugal, efficient and small means some aspects must be compromised. For the Spark, that's in its acceleration — which is slow even for this class of car — and total usable cargo space. There's very little room behind the rear seats. And while the rear seats are comfortable, taller adults may brush their heads up against the roof.
Generally, though, you should be pleased with Chevy's Spark if you're looking for affordable urban-oriented transportation.
Edmunds' Expert Rating
With its composed ride, affordable price, and lengthy list of standard equipment, the 2018 Chevrolet Spark punches above its weight. While it's not the quickest-accelerating subcompact, this hatchback is easy to drive in cities and even easier to park.
Edmunds has not driven any current version of the 2018 Chevrolet Spark, but we have limited experience with similar previous versions. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.
The Spark's small four-cylinder engine is best suited for around-town use. A CVT automatic-equipped Spark takes over 11 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph from a stop, so highway on-ramps require some planning. Surprisingly, the Spark is agile around town and delivers a well-mannered ride overall.
While it's noisy, it compares favorably with other cars in the class. Seating position is upright, with minimal lateral support. The rear seats are best suited to smaller passengers.
Yes, it's small, but the layout is functional. The high roofline gives it decent room, access and visibility, too. Cargo space is tight with four aboard, but it's plentiful with the rear seat folded.
There's minimal cargo room with the rear seat in use, but fold it down and there's more than enough storage for the sorts of local errands that suit this subcompact hatchback.
The MyLink infotainment system adds to the Spark's modern vibe. The menus are intuitive, and the graphics are sharp. The touchscreen supports multi-gesture control and provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interface. The standard OnStar 4G LTE service provides advanced connectivity options.
Which Spark does Edmunds recommend?
Thanks to its low price, the Spark undercuts its competitors by thousands of dollars when new, even in its top-spec trim. Still, there's something to be said about keeping all the bells and whistles out of your subcompact, so we'd split the difference and go for the 1LT, which adds much-needed features such as power windows and locks and cruise control.
2018 Chevrolet Spark models
The 2018 Chevrolet Spark is available in four trim levels that differ primarily in standard feature content. The Spark LS is a well-equipped base model, and the 1LT adds more features. The 2LT has more convenience and driver assist features, while the Activ model increases ground clearance and tacks on roof rails for a more active lifestyle. All trims come with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 98 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque. The engine drives the front wheels through either a five-speed manual transmission or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
The Spark LS comes with a rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a four-speaker audio system, air conditioning, and Chevrolet's OnStar communications system that includes a 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi hotspot.
The 1LT adds 15-inch alloy wheels, power accessories (windows, mirrors and door locks), cruise control, remote keyless entry, foglights, and a six-speaker audio system.
From here, the Activ adds simulated leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, roof rails, special 15-inch wheels and bodywork, and a raised suspension that provides 0.4 inch of additional ground clearance.
Alternately, go for the 2LT. Compared to the 1LT, it adds rear parking sensors, simulated seating surfaces, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, push-button start, an upgraded driver information display, heated front seats, and chrome door handles and trim.
A sunroof is optional for the 1LT and 2LT trims. For the 2LT only, you can get a Driver Confidence package that adds forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems.
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
Two Sparks in Two Months
2018 Chevrolet Spark 1LT 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl CVT)
Previously bought a marshmallow white Spark LS back around the end of November, but got t-boned and totaled around December. It's amazing how well that car held up. Our vehicle went airborne, rolled 5 times, and landed in a ditch and I walked away with little injuries. The side curtain airbags and OnStar kicked on immediately. This vehicle is extremely safe in an accident, so much so I … bought another recently again to replace my last. This time in sorbet pink, because I love out-of-the-ordinary cars. Also hopefully this time they'll see me with that bright a color, lol. Upgraded up to an LT1 trim, too, and I think it's worth it if you don't mind spending a little more. The rims are alright but the little inserts you can order really make them pop. Also comes with keyless entry (no remote start though, sadly) which is a must for my delivery job when I'm holding large packages. The LS trim is really the best deal you can get, though. They go on sale every other month for around $10,900 which is a steal for a brand new car with a good warranty and build quality. The interior is the same throughout all trims it seems like but it's pretty simple and quality-built. It doesn't feel like the dash will start peeling and cracking in 3 years, or the electrics burning out at the same time. Only thing I'm worried about is the CVT reliability, but honestly they'll last with the scheduled transmission fluid changes every 45k miles. Certified Pre-Owned Sparks from Chevrolet dealers come with 100k mile warranty for everything, which is great. Only other car I can think of that gets close in this price range of new cars is the Mitsubishi Mirage, but it feels much more cheaply put together in terms of quality.
5 out of 5 stars
It does what it does VERY well
2017 Chevrolet Spark LS 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl 5M)
I've owned the car over 7 months and love it. I was looking for a good mid-sized used car but kept checking on the new little cars. I found the deal on this for under $9000 and had to go for it. I especially liked the technology package, that will connect to my smart phone using all its functionality over the display. My only concern, after doing my research, was whether I would fit … into it as I am 6'3 and over 300 lbs. With the seat all the way back, I was good. In particular, I found I had all the knee room I would need. I could take this on a long trip with no real trouble. The back seat is absolutely useless to me because I do not transport children and an adult would NEVER fit in. I removed the back seat cushions, folded the seat back down and have what I call a 'two seater wagon'. I've done a lot of transporting cargo and been surprised what it will carry. Performance is not sporty by any means, but it is always competent. Acceleration is adequate and never lacking, steering is what you would expect from a small car, transmission and clutch are fine, and the suspension handles what the road throws at it. I drive 4 miles to work and every couple of weeks go on weekend excursions, and have gotten 36.7 MPG over the past 5 months. The paint, fit, and finish is wonderful, and the styling is very nice. All these things I love about the car, but be aware of what it does NOT do. It does NOT have power seats, windows or mirrors, so get into the habit of cranking windows again. It does NOT have cruise control. It does not have remote control for the door locks but it does lock the doors automatically when driving and it will not allow you to unlock the car while the car is running - kind of odd. The hatch only opens with the key, no remote switch. With the back seat down, the floor is not flat but is low in the middle. These negatives are insignificant considering all the positives of the car. A note on the geopolitics of the car -- it is made in South Korea by what used to be Daewoo. I never expected to by a GM car after the bailout by taxpayers and I'm still not happy about supporting GM, but this car REALLY gets it done for me so I put politics behind me. I've owned this car for a year and everything I've said about the car is still true. Gas mileage is still outstanding and there have been zero problems. I really like it. Two years and 35k and the car still hums. No repairs, just standard maintenance. OK! its been what four years now? I still love the car and put about 75k with no break downs. I hit a fox on the interstate and it took out the front bumper, grill, radiator, and AC pump (Yes, a fox did all that). My commute is now 61 highway miles and I regularly get over 40 MPG over hilly terrain although I noticed that in cold weather I get 10% lower mileage. The car has performed outstandingly. No constant annoying rattles like cars this age develop, and everything still works fine. The AC is still very cold. I haven't been annoyed by the lack of power anything, and the Android Auto has been super. As far as a used car goes, it is worth far more to me than the price I could get for it 7/4/2021 So I'm still loving my car, the pandemic kept the miles down, I've only changed the oil and done regular upkeep. The engine is sounding a little throaty, and seems to have lost half a step of peppiness, which is not surprising at 89k miles. The paint still looks outstanding, the interior has held up well, I think that GM did a good thing, even as they were doing so many crazy things during their 2008 crash 5 year anniversary. Just turned 97k miles and it is still rock solid in every way. Driving on open highways 60 miles to and from work, I'm still getting 39.2 MPG. No mechanical issues, I got my share of dings and wear, but when I shine it up is looks new. I still wish I had Cruise Control and remote control door locks, but considering how perfectly it has been working. I'm pleased to take it everywhere I go! 7/6/22 Still loving my car, it is beginning to show signs of wear, which is to be expected for 111k miles. Finish is still fine except where my son backed into it. Mileage is 40.1 MPG on all highway, I'm starting to hear some squeaks coming from the engine, and the AC need service. Interior and gauges are fine, and Android Auto is doing what it does. Still believe that this has been a fine commuter vehicle with added value as a 'wagon'.
5 out of 5 stars
Redneck buys Spark to drive 'til daughter turns 16
J Scott Flowers, 01/14/2017
2017 Chevrolet Spark 1LT 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl CVT)
Truly impressed so far. Have only put 2500 miles on it. It's by far the neatest car I've ever owned. Not saying a whole lot there. The last new car I bought was a 94 Olds Achieva. That was sporty back in those days. I'd say the Spark is funner to drive. Since then I've owned old pickup trucks and used cars, so the Spark is high tech to me. I drive once a month a 500 mile round trip and … around town besides that. It seems to have a slight lull in accelaration as if pressing the gas takes a wee too long before it starts going. I've gotten used to it, and it's really not a problem. Acceleration is remarkably quick, and I have no problem on the interstate keeping up. Love the cruise control and use it in places I've never used cruise control before because it's so convenient. Get up to speed limit and move my thumb on the steering wheel, and let it go. Defogger and rear wiper are neat. My daughter thinks that's cool. Backup camera is cool, but beware that objects appear further away than they really are. Still use the mirrors to be sure. Visibility is great. Wifi is the cat's meow, and checking the car's location or unlocking it with my phone is awesome. So far, so good. I can afford it, and feel I have one of the nicest cars on the road, in spite of it looking like a puddle jumper.
5 out of 5 stars
Great For High Mileage, Cool Tech, Tight Parking!
C. Tatum, 01/05/2017
2017 Chevrolet Spark LS 4dr Hatchback (1.4L 4cyl CVT)
I am a simple kind of guy, and my goal with getting another vehicle was very simple – get a new vehicle at a reasonably low price. Happily, the 2017 Spark is simple in all the ways I like – I got the base LS model because I’m not a fan of power anything (power stuff breaks first). The only “power” options I wanted and got on the Spark were power steering and an automatic transmission. … The most common descriptor my friends use for the Spark is “cute.” It’s quite a small vehicle, but it’s one I have no problem fitting my 5’ 11”, 230-pound frame into. The seats, while not easy-chair material, are sufficiently comfortable. The Spark is good with mirrors and window space – blind spots on either side of the car have been kept to a minimum. The rear-view mirror inside the cabin could be a little wider, but it’s adequate. And the rear window is wide enough to monitor tailgaters. Internal storage space, as has been widely written about, isn’t very much, but you can fold the rear seats down for additional space. It also has two rear doors which might be suitable for loading large items as well as associates. Much has also been written about the Spark’s 98-horsepower engine and that it takes 10 seconds to get to 60 mph. I have not found it to be a problem. I would not call it underpowered at all. If you’re an angry, pushy driver who loves to tailgate others, the Spark will exhaust your patience. But if you’re a judicious, considerate driver, the Spark’s acceleration won’t be an issue for you. I was a little surprised to find out the Spark has a 9.2-gallon tank – the smallest in any vehicle I’ve ever owned, but that’s offset by its high-rated fuel mileage of 38mpg (highway) and up. If you do the math, that’s a cruising range of at least 340 miles. This is not a “touring” car, but for 180- to 250-mile trips that I take on occasion, I’m confident the Spark can handle the pull. The deal clincher for me was under the hood – the EcoTec engine, this one a 1.4-liter jobbie – is the centerpiece of the Spark. I became a huge fan of EcoTec with my last car which lasted over 296,000 miles with that original engine. Unlike the Fiat 500, you can use 87 octane fuel with the Spark. Compared with what I’ve read about similar subcompacts, the Spark’s instrument panel and dash are welcomingly simple and very nicely designed. No screen is too “busy”. If you have an Android or iPhone smartphone, you can plug either device into the USB jack and access music and certain mobile apps from those devices on the touch-screen display. The semi-digital dash on the base model is the carries a nice amount of information including mpg, miles to empty, and average speed. The 1LT and 2LT models are supposed to be even better on this point. The radio does NOT pick up HD channels (at least not in the base model), so get your premium stations thru your Bluetooth enabled smartphone and apps like Sirius XM or Pandora. The Spark includes several modern conveniences and safety features such as a rear backup camera and the MyChevy touch-screen control system with Bluetooth. You get a 3-month trial of OnStar remote monitoring and assistance free, too, as well as built-in 4G wi-fi service you can add on for as little as $10 a month (1 GB). Automatic lights, cup holders, and too many other features to include in this short review. The Spark is a good, simple little car that has in reviews been compared favorably in specific ways to the pricier Honda Fit, the trendy Fiat 500, the practical Nissan Versa, and the equally reliable Toyota Yaris. The Spark stands out, though, for its integrated OnStar service and onboard technology. If you’re in a precarious situation with savings or credit score, and you need basic transportation, you’ll like the Spark a lot. If you’re a road hog, or a gearhead, look elsewhere. The Spark is most certainly not a ride for hipsters (unless they’re driving it ironically). For its high fuel mileage, its maneuverability in tight parking spaces, its safety features, and its integrated smartphone technology, not to mention its low price relative to other vehicles in its class, the 2017 Spark earns its 5 stars overall. Just a few things keep it from being an absolutely perfect subcompact, but no one has made one of those yet! Take a test drive! You’ll love it!
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2018 Chevrolet Spark, so we've included reviews for other years of the Spark since its last redesign.
2018 Spark Highlights
|Combined MPG||33 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$116/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
Our experts like the Spark models:
- Forward Collision Alert
- Warns the driver of an imminent front-end collision.
- Lane Departure Warning
- Lets you know when you're drifting away from the center of the lane.
- Rear Park Assist
- Alerts you of nearby objects when backing up.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested